To say I like movies is a bit of an understatement. Movies that give you glimpses into peoples lives, movies that open up worlds you would have never known about and movies that help you see things differently than you saw them before. With those as a preface you can image that I don’t like all movies. To be be truthful there are only a handful of movies that I would even call good let alone decent.
So Tuesday when I had nothing else to do and time to kill I decided to go down and see if I couldn’t find one of these cinematic masterpieces that are so hard to find. There were only a handful of movies that I had even heard of and a few, like Justin Bieber’s movie “Believe”, that were obviously not even going to make the “not even rent” list. It came down to Ben Stillers “Life Of Mitty” or Leonardo Dicaprios “The Wolf Of Wall Street”, as you have already surmised by the title I decided to go with The Wolf Of Wall Street. Before we go any further I would like to pass on a bit of information to you that will save you three hours of your life along with your eyes and ears. DON’T GO SEE THIS MOVIE. Though there are some insights to be found in it the overall movies is nothing but drug use, sex and cursing.
As I sat in the theater for three hours watching the real life story of Jordan Belfort play out before me a few things became very obvious.
1. One Bad Influence Can Have A Lifetime Effect: As one watches The Wolf On Wall Street it is apparent that the character of Jordan Belfort is only concerned with himself. We wants all the money, drugs and women that he can get. He is in a downward spiral and everyone’s attempt to stop him only drive him further down. He loses friends, family and himself in the process of going after what he thinks will bring him happiness. We do get a glimpse however that he wasn’t always this way. At the beginning of the movie the young Jordan meets a stock broker, played by Matthew McConaughey, that shares the “secrets of how to win on wall street”. This one interaction with McCanughey’s character sends the young Belfort down a path that he never recovers from. Its an unintentional lesson that teaches us to be careful who we let influence us.
2. He Is Unable To Be Humble: As the movie moves forward we see many of the characteristics of Jordan’s character. He is driven, business savvy, intelligent and likable. We even see a few rare moments in the film were he is generous and helpful to others. Overall however Jordan is a self centered individual that doesn’t care about others and rarely cares about himself. He prides himself of providing jobs for a few thousand people at the expense of others. The jobs he does provide are filled by money hungry individuals that want to be like Jordan but never see how empty he really is.
3. He Never Repents: There is no doubt in my mind that Jordan is an amazing salesman, probably the best. He has the ability to sell a product to people in a way that draws them in and makes them want it. Throughout the film we see Jordan sale himself, his stocks, his company and his integrity. He doesn’t seem to regret any of it. By the end of the movie we see a Jordan that seems to be half the man he was when we started the film. He hasn’t repented of anything and seems to have settled for what happened to him. Never once does to apologize to any of his previous wives, employees or children. He simple looks for the next way to make money. He hasn’t learned anything.
With all of that said I understand that in general this could be anyone’s life. We all have trouble finding reliable and worth while people to influence us, life itself is a lesson in humbleness and repenting. So don’t think that I’m picking on Jordan Belfort, I’m not. I don’t know Jordan aside from the character portrayed on the screen. Anyone of us could be Jordan on a given day. The lesson we need to learn from it all is that success doesn’t bring happiness. Success is great, but its not the greatest.
If our priorities are out of order and we chase after the things that only bring temporary happiness we will all end up like Jordan. We will continue to chase after things that we want to define us. It could be notoriety, wealth or a variety of other things. However it we don’t define ourselves by who we are in Christ then it will all be for nothing. Everything but Jesus is temporary.
Let Christ define you, let Christ guide you!